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Skilled Craftsmen

Volume 530: debated on Thursday 15 July 1954

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asked the Minister of Labour if he will appoint a committee to investigate and report on the relative position of the skilled craftsman, which has been worsening for 40 years.

No, Sir. I do not think that this would be a useful step to take.

The facts do not appear to me to need investigation. I have put some facts, which the hon. Member wanted, very fully before him. I do not want to interfere with the system of free negotiation which governs relative wage movements.

Does that mean that the Minister is willing to agree to the exports of the country being, subsidised at the expense of highly-skilled craftsmen?

No, Sir. I did not say that. I merely said that I did not want to interfere. If anything can be done to put right any relative unfairness in this, I shall be delighted to see it, but I doubt whether it would be welcome to some of the hon. Member's Friends if I tried to enforce it.